EVERETT - After Mount Union scored first, and Everett matched that on the ensuing possession, the Warriors looked like they were ready to match the Trojans blow-for-blow and score-for-score in their Inter-County Conference Gold Division matchup.
However, following the Everett touchdown, rather than the game being a back-and-forth affair, things turned into a complete mismatch in favor of Mount Union.
The Trojans reeled off 34 unanswered points and left the Warriors with no answers on how to stop the Mount Union offense or break through its defense in a 55-13 loss at Everett Warrior Stadium on Friday night.
"I honest to God don't know how to figure this team out. This is more than I expected. I really expected Everett to do a little better than this," Mount Union coach Dayton Shugarts said. "They (Mount Union) frustrate me so much during the week of practice, then all of the sudden, they come out and play football on Friday nights."
The win keeps Mount Union in the hunt for a division title with a 6-1 overall mark and 3-1 ICC Gold record, while Everett dropped to 3-4 and 1-3.
"It was 7-7. I thought our kids would be excited and rising to the occasion but not tonight," Everett coach Mark Kirk said. "I've coached for 36 years. That's the most improved team (Mount Union) from last year to this year. They're tough kids, they get off the ball."
Senior Dylan Smith was the man that proved most frustrating for Everett as the senior led the Mount Union offensive attack by rushing 15 times for 178 yards (11.9 per rush) and scored five touchdowns.
Warrior running back Jacob Jay gained 106 on 11 chances, but 79 came on his touchdown run at 7:43 of the first quarter that had the score tied at 7-7. The Jay touchdown followed B.J. Loner's 46-run burst to pay dirt just three minutes into the game.
The Trojan defense stood strong as it allowed just 34 total yards the rest of the half, and just one big play (a 42-yard pass from Trevon Ward to Jared Donelson) in a second half in which they gave up just 99 yards.
"We couldn't spread them enough because they had more team speed than we do we were at a definite disadvantage," Kirk said. "When we would spread them, it didn't do us any good because they match you up."
Smith took over from that point as he crossed the goal line on a 3-yard run in the first quarter, then plowed in for three 1-yard scores in the second quarter before getting in from 9-yards out at 9:34 of the third quarter that had Mount Union up 41-7.
"Dylan Smith, for the past two weeks, has been excellent," Shugarts said. "He seems to have a different sense out there now. He seems to know where he is all the time. A couple of those runs were absolutely great."
Kyle Sheaffer, who gained 72 yards on 14 attempts following the break after carrying just once in the first half, ended the scoring run with a 5-yard touchdown at 5:11 of the third quarter.
Loner scored his second touchdown when he hauled in a 6-yard pass from quarterback Trevon Walker.
Everett quarterback Trevon Ward fumbled the ball away twice in the fourth quarter, in addition to two first-half interception. The first lost fumble he tried to throw out of bounds but instead it went backwards where Trojan lineman Phil Kyle outhustled everyone and fell on it in the end zone for a score that set the final at the 9:55 mark of the final stanza.
"They might not be as big as we are, but they are way quicker than we are," Kirk said. "Our kids really had a hard time getting off blocks - they wouldn't use their hands. If you don't use your hands, you can't get off blocks."
Walker didn't need to throw much (7-of-10 for 77 yards), but when he did, it was effective and kept the Warriors off balance.
Mount Union racked up 372 totals yards, including 282 in the first two quarters, while the defense surrendered 212 yards, but 121 of those came on two combined plays.
"We've stressed to these boys from the beginning you as a defensive man, you have a job to do," Shugarts said. "You have your zone and that's where I expect you to be. It took awhile to get there but they've got there now. They play it well."
The Trojans play host to West Branch next Friday, while the Warriors travel to Southern Huntingdon.